Capturing the unique shapes and moment of water is jewellery designer Renee Pan. The Edinburgh College of Art alumna creates a peaceful atmosphere with her collection of wearable brooches and rings, and this didn’t go unnoticed. As part of our Global Young Talent, Renee’s work has been featured in the December issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK. Read on to discover how she translates sunshine’s reflection on the water into sophisticated jewellery pieces.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, you’re originally from China, yet moved to Scotland to complete a course in Jewellery Design at the Edinburgh College of Art, what inspired you to move overseas and study jewellery design?
I was always interested in seeing how art can be better integrated into everyday life. I disco red that contemporary jewellery design is much like wearable art, which can be both large, small, macroscopic or microscopic, so I started exploring jewellery design. In fact, the jewellery design college in the UK is very famous, making it an attractive place to study. I can interact and communicate with different people from different countries, backgrounds and industries. I feel that an unfamiliar environment also poses both a challenge as well as an opportunity, this dual eccentricity convinced me to study in the UK.
" I feel that an unfamiliar environment also poses both a challenge as well as an opportunity, this dual eccentricity convinced me to study in the UK."
2. Your work is inspired by nature, more specifically the movement of what, what peaked your interest so much you decided to revolve your collection around it?
I was inspired by the dynamic changes of water under the influence of sunshine. I found that movement in water is never the same, and constantly moving around. Water is always moving and changing, yet simultaneously it is very peaceful to observe. I wanted to exhibit these moments of serenity and the specific atmosphere it conveys with my jewellery, and go even further, and let the wearer and audience own these unique moments.
3. Your designs featured soft details and intricate patterns, how do these reflect your inspiration and can you highlight your design process?
I wanted to create the feeling of water, the design is based on the circular shape inspired by containers and jars to collect water in. I poured water, with coloured paint, on the paper and let it flow, this then absorbed the liquid and resulted in a unique pattern of water. I then further developed this pattern with silver wire and resin. I wanted to exhibit a feeling of water, so combined water, glass, acrylic and resin to create a crystal-like and translucent image under the light.
"I wanted to exhibit a feeling of water, so combined water, glass, acrylic and resin to create a crystal-like and translucent image under the light."
4. At the moment you have created rings and brooches, why did you pick these types of jewellery and how would wish to expand in the future?
In my previous exploration of jewellery, I always tried to express design ideas in an exaggerated and big form. Although these works have a strong visual effect and conveying power, I also want to create some jewellery in a more simple and wearable way. So I chose to create rings and brooches to express my ideas in this collection. I will also explore more wearability, including earrings, necklaces and other wearing methods. At the same time, I still very interested in exaggerated and huge display works.
5. What have you learnt during your time at university and what tips do you have for future jewellery design students?
Learning how to face failure. For me, the process of jewellery design is trial and error. Sometime I will doubt myself and be too harsh on myself. But It's okay to fail and tumble, just keep going and it will pass too. For jewellery design students, jewellery shows the attitude and thinking of the designer and the wearer to the world, it can be very simple, but equally meaningful. It is very important to express yourself with your jewellery design.
"But It's okay to fail and tumble, just keep going and it will pass too. For jewellery design students, jewellery shows the attitude and thinking of the designer and the wearer to the world, it can be very simple, but equally meaningful."
Discover Renee Pan's full collection
Words by Lupe Baeyens